Penguin women to face up-tempo Wright State team

YOUNGSTOWN – Youngstown State knows Wright State is a very dangerous team.

In fact, the third-seeded Penguins (15-15) know the second-seeded Raiders (24-6) are a very dangerous team.

Offensively, Wright State is by far and away the best offensive team in the league – averaging 83.4 points per outing.

Slowing down the Raiders’ potent offensive won’t be easy as YSU tries to earn its first win over Wright State in tonight’s Horizon League semifinal game at the Kress Center in Green Bay, starting at 6 p.m. The top-seeded Phoenix (21-8) play fourth-seeded UIC (22-8) in the other semifinal.

The two winners play in Sunday afternoon’s championship game, with the winner heading to the NCAA Tournament.

Wright State has the Horizon League Player of the Year in Kim Demmings (22.5 points per game), while Ivory James adds 17.5 per contest.

Tay’ler Mingo shoots 82 percent from the foul line, while James is a 75 percent shooter.

YSU senior guard Liz Hornberger said slowing a team down that beat the Penguins 93-81 and 85-70 this season will be difficult.

“If we go in thinking we have this, which I don’t think we will, we’re not going to win. We have to be the tougher team,” Hornberger said.

Hornberger, Melissa Thompson, Karen Flagg and Monica Touvelle are the team’s four seniors. Friday, might be the team’s last game and the last game of their careers. That gives it some more incentive than the prior to meetings with Wright State.

“The mental aspect will be there, where it was lacking the first two games,” Hornberger said.

“This is our last year, our last chance to win the Horizon League Tournament. We’re definitely going to be aggressive every game,” Thompson said.

Wright State held off Milwaukee in its quarterfinal game, 73-64. YSU held off Oakland in its quarterfinal, 68-64.

YSU coach John Barnes said there are no secrets between Wright State and YSU.

“It’s the third time you’re playing these teams. You know everything they’re doing. They know everything you’re doing,” Barnes said.

STATION CHANGE: Tonight’s YSU game is on WNIO 1390-AM.